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Starting a computer business in Malta

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Starting a computer business in Malta

Postby Ghawdex » Sun 27 Jul 2014 15:20 GMT

Hi all, hope this is the right place for this, but here goes.

When I get down to Malta, i'd love to start a computer repair business. Other than getting down to Malta itself that's been one of my biggest dreams/aspirations in life, is to help people fix their computer/smartphone/whatever issues... I do it already here in Canada as an unofficial business on the side, and when i'm doing it I get in the zone, and usually can't stop until the problem is solved, else it starts to bother me LOL!

I like to think I do a good job with my work, and to be honest, from experience, Gozo needs a good computer fixer-upper shop!

So, who on here has set up a business of any sort, especially a computer one, in Malta or Gozo? Is/was it successful? I thought it a good option seeing as the wages down there are very low compared to Canada, so I think it would bring in more money than a normal job down there. Also seeing as I will be coming down with no education other than high school, and probably minimal, part-time unskilled work experience, if I went the route of normal work, i'd probably only be eligible for minimum wage, and lord knows i'd never be able to move out of nana and nanu's on that! LOL

Speaking of, when I get down there I will have access to living accomodation (living with grandparents, sure they will be just thrilled ;) ) and a car (uncle and aunt live in Qatar and only use their car when visiting Malta, so can use that til I get one of my own)

I'd hope to run the business out of the house for starters, and do in home servicing for people seeing as I can charge more for that, and once I start bringing in enough revenue i'd rent a storefront to run the business out of.
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Postby chris green » Sun 27 Jul 2014 16:01 GMT

There are a few good shops that charge around €20 for a service mainly getting rid of Gozo dust but also the odd virus. The guys seem pretty clued up.

Personally, I would welcome home visits. Not having to shlep downtown lugging a heavy computer and looking for a parking space. However, whatever you choose to do we don't need another Gozo engineer working on 'Gozo time', never turning up on time or at all and not ringing to warn the customer he'll be late. Theit favourite phrase is "I need to get a part from Malta" Doom and Gloom. :evil: :mrgreen:
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Postby Ghawdex » Sun 27 Jul 2014 16:55 GMT

chris green wrote:There are a few good shops that charge around €20 for a service mainly getting rid of Gozo dust but also the odd virus. The guys seem pretty clued up.

Personally, I would welcome home visits. Not having to shlep downtown lugging a heavy computer and looking for a parking space. However, whatever you choose to do we don't need another Gozo engineer working on 'Gozo time', never turning up on time or at all and not ringing to warn the customer he'll be late. Theit favourite phrase is "I need to get a part from Malta" Doom and Gloom. :evil: :mrgreen:


Ah yes, Gozo time, one of my favourite things ;)

No, I wouldn't be running my business on "Gozo time" as probably unlike the other shop owners, I actually care what the customers think, and if I do a good job I hope that would make them come back to me again versus the other guys... Which would then net more revenue from people repeating business, as well as word of mouth, which on Gozo spreads pretty fast seeing as nothing is far. The way I see it is if you provide a good service and the other guys are unprofessional/don't care as much then your service will therefore be better than theirs, and your business, more profitable :mrgreen:

Oh, and my expertise is more round the software bit of things. I definitely know more than the average chap about hardware, but in my experience if say the processor in a laptop fails, it would be almost cheaper/the same price to buy a brand new one rather than fixing it, especially because the processor is usually soldered to the motherboard, and therefore only serviceable by the manufacturer, which brings you back to square one - a new laptop would be cheaper.

And I may have some little idea of bringing computers from Canada given how cheap they are and selling them down there through my shop, at a cheaper price than the rest of the guys, whilst still making a huge profit due to how expensive computers are there. (really. its absurd)
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Postby Kay » Sun 27 Jul 2014 17:09 GMT

Nothing annoys me more than not being able to get online. (You can imagine how much I've enjoyed the last few days. Bah!)

There's a problem. How could you fix that? Find out what people's problems are and figure out ways to fix them.

For example, if my computer problem needed a lot of time to fix, perhaps you could lend me a computer (with an online connection) just to let me get the minimum done while you're repairing my usual one. You know, in the same way as some companies lend you a car while they're fixing yours. All part of the service. Alternatively, maybe you could charge for short-term hire.

Another thing, how are you on the online business side of things? Just askin' coz that's my personal interest. :D

PS: I asked you about work in another thread before I saw this one.
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Postby Ghawdex » Sun 27 Jul 2014 18:48 GMT

Kay wrote:Nothing annoys me more than not being able to get online. (You can imagine how much I've enjoyed the last few days. Bah!)


LOL me too. Whenever we go places, internet is a necessity. In fact when I was over in Malta last and my laptop wouldn't play nice with my nana's (ancient) router, I went to one of the computer stores in Victoria and got a new one. I needed my internet ;)

There's a problem. How could you fix that? Find out what people's problems are and figure out ways to fix them.

Well if someone's entire household cannot get online, the problem either lies with the ISP or the router. If I were to deal with those (and i have plenty experience doing so) it would have to be in-home service, as that stuff is all wired in to the house and cables and stuff. If the problem lies with the individual machine, in that that specific machine cannot connect, it can be a problem with either the router or the machine itself, but in my case when my laptop just wouldn't play nice with the older router, I tried everything I knew to troubleshoot, then figured a new one was in order.

For example, if my computer problem needed a lot of time to fix, perhaps you could lend me a computer (with an online connection) just to let me get the minimum done while you're repairing my usual one. You know, in the same way as some companies lend you a car while they're fixing yours. All part of the service. Alternatively, maybe you could charge for short-term hire.


Yeah, thats possible and others online have told me that that is a rarity in computer service these days and a loaner PC would be a nice perk. And i'm sure I can find something for cheap here in Canada that would work for online, and bring it over for that purpose. Or yes, add a small charge for those who want the loaner, because you can't give everyone loaners - you'd run out of loaners! Unless of course you had alot of them.


Another thing, how are you on the online business side of things? Just askin' coz that's my personal interest. :D


I haven't really experimented with online business, but i'd love to try it out, especially given that I could start it now whilst in Canada and bring it over with me to Malta seamlessly. If you could give me pointers on that i'd really appreciate it :)

PS: I asked you about work in another thread before I saw this one.

Yeah saw that and responded to your post :)
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Postby Kay » Sun 27 Jul 2014 20:42 GMT

Hmm, I'm in two minds whether to suggest this to you or not, because this other place is quite different from all the other online business forums.

http://experienced-people.net/forums/forum.php

That one is for serious experienced business people. We don't like the get-rich-quick merchants or any of the usual crap you get on other places about making money online.

We do welcome newbies as long as they respect our rules. Welcome to my other world - I currently run the place although I don't own it.

Same invitation goes to any BE members who have an interest in online business. Just please remember that every forum is different and Experienced People (EP) has much stricter rules even than here. It's a serious business forum.

If you join and you're asked for a referrer put "Kay" (without the quotes) and I will earn a million quid for every one. :crackup:

There's a lot of good stuff in there for anyone who is interested in making some money online. Just be aware that the rules are different over there - they have to be because any forum about making money online tends to attract a lot of drek.
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Postby gozomark » Sun 27 Jul 2014 22:16 GMT

Ghawdex wrote: I may have some little idea of bringing computers from Canada given how cheap they are and selling them down there through my shop


bear in mind VAT,import duty, eco tax, plus the cost of providing a guarantee
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Postby Ghawdex » Mon 28 Jul 2014 00:05 GMT

gozomark wrote:
Ghawdex wrote: I may have some little idea of bringing computers from Canada given how cheap they are and selling them down there through my shop


bear in mind VAT,import duty, eco tax, plus the cost of providing a guarantee


Even if I bring it in my luggage and its a "personal" laptop? I'm not talking shipping it over, i'll just bring them in my luggage when I come.

If I bring it to Malta personally, and sell it after its been used as a "personal computer" for some time, therefore making it second hand, it would not be liable for VAT or anything like that. It would be like a kijiji sale (or Gumtree I believe is a UK site like it)
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Postby Ghawdex » Mon 28 Jul 2014 00:06 GMT

And thanks Kay i'll pop on and have a look :)
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Postby gozomark » Mon 28 Jul 2014 08:12 GMT

how many PCs are you thinking of bringing over :-)
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Postby chris green » Mon 28 Jul 2014 08:34 GMT

gozomark wrote:
Ghawdex wrote: I may have some little idea of bringing computers from Canada given how cheap they are and selling them down there through my shop


bear in mind VAT,import duty, eco tax, plus the cost of providing a guarantee


And if caught you'll become a 'person of interest' every time you visit MIA! :shock: :mrgreen:
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Postby JJ » Mon 28 Jul 2014 10:41 GMT

I'm not sure when you were last in Gozo but prices for computers and white goods are far more sensible today than when I first came over seven years ago. Then they were like double the UK price but now maybe 30% more, which once you factor in shipping, guarantee and eco-tax like Chris says, makes very little difference, not enough to make a viable business model of undercutting the incumbents.
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Postby Kraut ;-) » Mon 28 Jul 2014 12:23 GMT

If I bring it to Malta personally, and sell it after its been used as a "personal computer" for some time, therefore making it second hand, it would not be liable for VAT or anything like that. It would be like a kijiji sale (or Gumtree I believe is a UK site like it)


there is a grey line when personal becomes business. selling maybe 2 laptops a year maybe non-business, but maybe from selling 3 laptops a year it is likely a business.

btw. in germany the tax man is getting information from ebay or has a software checking for ebay sellers with high turnover. often these 'private' sellers did not declare their additional income.
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Postby Ghawdex » Mon 28 Jul 2014 20:55 GMT

gozomark wrote:how many PCs are you thinking of bringing over :-)


Max two a year... Thats all I can fit in my luggage. (If I make a suitable living I plan on visiting my family at christmastime back in Canada)

I'd leave my actual laptop back in Malta so they can get through customs/immigration as one being my personal the other being for work, which is totally believable.
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Postby Ghawdex » Mon 28 Jul 2014 20:57 GMT

chris green wrote:And if caught you'll become a 'person of interest' every time you visit MIA! Shocked Mr. Green


Haha! Transiting through Deutschland or some other Schengen country bar UK or Ireland will avoid MIA immigration :mrgreen: ;)
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